Susan S.

The Committee issue is a big one for me, especially as I am living with the worst offender. I am honestly not sure of the best way to handle him… is really difficult, even with professional help, which I do get.  Only this morning I was nastily told that I had spent too long on scheduling my Spring classes, and that all my teaching does is stresses him.

I feel as though I have two committees.

Committee 1----the academic/music ones. My attitude to most of them is that I was able to earn my doctorate in composition despite their negative talk.  Although I sometimes get the lingering messages which are in my head, and I haven’t composed since I finished my dissertation---it is as though the music left me.

Committee 2---personal/quilting.  This is the challenging one.  Some members of the committee are much quieter, such as Germanic hand applique teacher who told me that I would never be able to applique. I still hear old messages from my Father such as “don’t do it if you can’t do it right”, it is better not to do something than do it badly, nothing I ever did was good enough.  I forgave him when he was at the end stage of life, but I still somehow hear those messages in my head and have to work at turning them around.  

The spousal one is the toughest, ranging from “it’s not important”, it’s only a hobby”, “you don’t know anything”,” you don’t earn enough” to “you don’t know anything” “no one has ever taken as long to earn a doctorate and you only did it when threatened”.One which has a direct consequence is ”I spent $1200 to send you to a course and that’s all you did” (a class with Caryl Fallert on different techniques, so we just made samples).  (This one makes me strive to produce in a course, and focus on having something to show rather than relaxing, learning and enjoying the class.)  “I like X’s work better than yours”, “you don’t have a clue about colour”. These negatives are beyond a letter……I don’t know the best way to approach it other than trying to rephrase the negatives into opposite positives.

I need an “in person” tribe.  The Fifteen by Fifteen group is wonderful as a virtual tribe, but I could do with someone close by to bounce things off.  I belonged to a nice art quilt group for a while, but then the members I related to decided to leave en masse and the new members are very inexperienced and I no longer enjoyed the meetings. One of two friends I met with semi-regularly had a severe depressive episode and would no longer meet, and the other took her work into other directions and was not interested in meeting.  I have tried the two local guilds but did not relate at all.  I am not sure how to find a good tribe which works for me.  The S. California SAQA region is vast, and there are rarely meetings I can get to.  I enjoy being with my tribe when I take a residential course once a year, so this is a definite need.